Date: October 21st, 2008
Article by: Nathan Glentworth (Owner / Head Editor)
Product was submitted by: Sapphire
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PRODUCT PICTORIAL & WALKTHROUGH
Let's take a virtual walk around Sapphire's TOXIC version of ATI's HD4850.
First off we start at this videocard's VPU. Sapphire's use of the 55nm manufactured RV770 core is usually complemented with a stock clock in the range of 625Mhz core and 990-1000Mhz memory. This TOXIC version bumps things up a notch clocks the core at 675Mhz and the memory 1100Mhz straight out of the box. Now everyone will ask themselves, is this the overclocking ceiling for this card or does Sapphire clock this card a little conservatively for safety. To truly answer that we will be covering that in a section in the upcoming pages. But as a teaser, there is a little more headroom to squeeze a bit more performance out of this already stock overclocked card.
As for the cooler, you see Sapphire uses Zalman's VF-700 copper heatpipe cooler which we linked into the introduction seeing it was reviewed here on Tweaknews in 2006 and was one of the best videocard coolers we have tested to date. Sapphire's use of this cooler is nothing less than a superb choice to allow for a more stable overclock and a quieter running videocard. We all have heard some over the cooling solutions strapped to other videocards that sound more like hairdryers than a computer cooling product. This cooler even when set at 100% speed is almost undetectable.
But the VPU is not where the cooling ends. Each of the 64meg DDR3 1100Mhz clocked modules is cooled directly by its own separate small heatsink which receives airflow from the VPU cooler. To be honest, you really can't get a more efficient cooling setup and I applaud Sapphire on getting the cooling right for this card. As long as you have good airflow in your case, this card will cool itself very well. Even when overclocked, I haven't seen any temperatures on any of the heatsinks going over 51c even under hours of benchmarking and testing. This card runs really cool and should never have any stability problems resulting from overheating. Even the voltage regulators are cooled by a large heatsink to keep voltages stable.
The back of the card is simple and unobstructed so that it won't interfere with any motherboard northbridge cooling solutions. Direct temperature testing with an infrared thermometer resulted in a temperature of only 50c on the portion of the card directly under the VPU core.
The power supplied through the PCI Express slot alone will not power this videocard. Most recent power supplies have VGA power connectors stock, but if yours doesn't, use the included four pin molex adapter to supply the power your new videocard requires.
Last but not least in this section is the main connection panel. You have three choices which consist of two DVI monitor connections which you can adapt to a VGA or an HDMI equipped monitor through their respective adapters, or you can take advantage of the video-out port to output HD or standard S-video/composite video signal.